Let’s cut to the chase. Some teachers are telling their students to lock the knees in certain asanas especially balancing asanas. These yoga teachers have no understanding of biomechanics or anatomy. Talk to any doctor or physical therapist and you will learn there are no rewards for locking joints (hyperextending), but there are definite risks. It doesn’t matter, which Guru or master says to lock the knees, roll up your mat and leave the class because you only have one set of knees.
Why Yoga Students Should Not Lock Joints
It has been told a million times over and over again to avoid locking your knees. When you start to get into the habit of locking joints while practicing yoga asana, you are overextending your joints, which will set yourself up for future injuries. When your locking your knees during poses you are putting strain on your ligaments. By putting extra strain on your ligaments they will begin to wear down a lot faster. You are also putting strain on your cartilage and connective tissues as well.
Sometimes during different types of yoga classes, the yoga instructor will tell the students to lock their knee. This is a misunderstanding of information regarding anatomy. A yoga instructor who does not understand anatomy or how to communicate is one to be avoided. Supposedly, they claim to actually mean to “draw the knee up” to tighten muscles of the leg. If you draw up without locking, this gives the muscles around the knee great support. However, your knees should always remain slightly bent to avoid any issues in the long run it can take some practice to get this right.
Once a joint is damaged it starts to cause damage throughout the body. After an injury, your body wants to avoid pain and automatically will not want an injured joint to move into pain. This is why people and animals limp when injuring a joint. This results in a locked joint or a joint that is out of balance. The results are much like a domino effect. Once one joint goes wrong, they all start to follow. The body works simultaneously and should be taken care of as a whole. To avoid locking your joints is very important to practice, if you are participating in yoga training sessions. Sometimes even over time a joint injury can lead to issues such as osteoarthritis.
It is very important to keep yourself moving. Keeps your joints active and strong to make sure that you avoid any potential risks or problems. Yoga was designed to help the body and mind. Practicing in the correct manner should not lead to any negative health or joint issues. If you are practicing all the asanas correctly your body should not have any issues. It should always be known to avoid locking your knees. Stay in touch with your body. If you are practicing the art of yoga, make sure you are extremely conscious of what you are doing with your body. Something that may not seem like a big deal now can lead to many serious and discomforting health and joint issues in the future.
© Copyright 2013 – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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